Monday, May 25, 2009

Adventures in Memorial Day Baking/Concocting Part 1

This weekend I made several concoctions, baked goods and salads for our BBQ at Kim's.

Here's some recipes:

First, cocktails:

Ginger-Infused Vodka Lemonade

  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • Vodka (1 bottle)
  • Ginger Ale
  • Ice cubes


Pick out a good quality vodka for your mix. Cheap vodka tastes like ass with or without ginger infusion. This time, I used "Rain" -- some organic vodka that is very smooth and we already had it in the house.

2-3 days prior to using the vodka, you need to infuse it with ginger. Peel and dice about 1 ginger root and throw it in a bottle of vodka. Store in a cool dark place (I like the fridge). Shake it everytime you remember to mix the bits of ginger around. The day you are ready to use the vodka, strain out the ginger, and pour into initial vodka bottle or other vessel. Voila, ginger-infused vodka.

The day of/or day before, make a fairly sugary simple syrup. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and 2/3 cup water and place over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cook the sugar until dissolved but the syrup is still clear. Don’t brown it! Remove from heat and cool.

You will also need 1 cup of lemon juice. I bought two bags of lemons from Trader Joes which was plenty. To maximize your juicing output, make sure your lemons are room temperature. Cold lemons don't juice well AT ALL. Mix the lemon juice with the cooled simple syrup. I like to also shave some of the lemon rind off to make twists. My twists are not very pretty-- just some rinds that I managed to carve off rings. I added some candied ginger to the bamboo spears and threw the lemons on. No big deal.

I had a pitcher of the lemon/sugar concoction and the vodka separate. In an iced glass I put 1 part lemon/sugar mix, 1 part ginger infused vodka, 1 part gingerale and then added water to fill the martini glasses. This is a sweet and refreshing drink!

Other recipes to come shortly...

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